Applied Systems Reveals Findings from Annual Digital Agency and Brokerage Report
Survey indicated year-over-year growth in technology adoption
University Park, IL – 26 Sept. 2017 – Applied Systems today announced the findings of its annual Applied Digital Agency and Brokerage Survey and the latest industry-wide benchmark for agencies and brokerages to measure their digital technology adoption. The 2017 Applied Digital Agency Survey results indicate that agency and brokerage adoption of digital technology has increased in the past year. In addition, the survey finds that complete digital agencies and brokerages have higher revenue per employee when compared to their peers.
Key survey findings include:
- Foundational agency management system: 95% of agencies use a management system, and of those, 75% stated they have visibility across all departments, including P&C, Benefits and Sales. With nearly 100% adoption in both 2016 and 2017, agencies and brokerages understand that the management system is the core of their business operations.
- Insurer Connectivity: The U.S. standout in 2017 was eDocs and Messages download, with a year-over-year increase in adoption by 89%. In the UK, 58% of respondents take advantage of eTrading in their management systems. Year-over-year, the percentage of UK brokers who use integrated eTrading for personal and commercial schemes increased by 90% and 200%, respectively, from 2016 to 2017.
- Cloud: 72% of U.S. agents surveyed rely on the cloud to host their agency management system. Additionally, the survey found agencies that leverage cloud technology have a 35% higher revenue per employee than those that don’t. UK respondents follow the U.S. with the next highest cloud adopters at the rate of 63%.
- Client self-service: Across all regions, 27% of agencies and brokerages surveyed use a client self-service portal. Additionally, the survey found agencies that provide clients with a self-service application are realizing 9% higher revenue per employee.
- Data analytics: The majority of agencies surveyed (77%) did not leverage data analytics to gain insights from their management system data. UK brokerages have adopted data analytics tools at approximately twice the rate of U.S. agencies. Those agents that embrace data analytics are projected to experience greater success, gaining nearly 40% more revenue per employee.
- Mobile: Adoption continues to increase with a 41% increase year-over-year of agencies and brokerages providing mobile apps to their clients. Across geographies, 27% of Canadian brokerages report offering a client mobile app, compared to 24% of U.S. agencies.
“Across the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland, insurance agencies and brokerages are leveraging digital technology to transform their business,” said Reid French, chief executive officer, Applied Systems. “Our Applied Digital Agency and Brokerage Annual Report confirms continued technology adoption across the global insurance industry as well as the opportunity to drive greater revenue per employee by becoming a digital agency.”
More than 900 independent agencies across the U.S., Canada, UK and Ireland participated in the 2017 Applied Digital Agency Survey. The findings are based on responses to a set of questions about agency and brokerage technology use. Responses provided the data to calculate a digital score for each agency taking the survey and identify baselines for technology adoption.
The survey questions examined five core competencies of a digital agency, including agency management system capabilities, business intelligence, insurer download adoption, cloud software, client portal and mobility. Agencies scoring an 80% or above across all core competencies were considered to be a digital agency, having adopted most of the key drivers of digital transformation. To excel in each competency and achieve true digital transformation, agencies must embrace technology, enabling faster business growth and higher profits.
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About Applied Systems
Applied Systems is the leading global provider of cloud-based software that powers the business of insurance. Recognized as a pioneer in insurance automation and the innovation leader, Applied is the world’s largest provider of agency and brokerage management systems, serving customers throughout the United States, Canada, the Republic of Ireland, and the United Kingdom. By automating the insurance lifecycle, Applied’s people and products enable millions of people around the world to safeguard and protect what matters most.